There’s no doubt about it—modern technology is transforming every aspect of our lives. For better or for worse, it’s impacting everything from how we sleep and shop to how (and who!) we date. The more we all rush out to grab the newest iPhone or smartwatch, the more data these devices are able to collect from us and the smarter the new iterations become.
Throw in the mind-boggling genius of virtual reality and you’re bound to wonder—are our tech devices actually becoming smarter than us? Will smartphones one day replace visits to the doctors and in-person meetings? Hearing about the newest intelligent features in the new Apple Watch and iPhones, you’d be forgiven for thinking so. Here’s how the new devices are set to shake up our lives.
The new Apple Watch Series 4 allows users to take an ECG (electrocardiography) reading right from their wrist using the new ECG app, electrodes built into the digital crown and a new electrical heart rate sensor in the back crystal. With the app, users touch the digital crown and after 30 seconds, receive a heart rhythm classification. It can classify if the heart is beating in a normal pattern or whether there are signs of Atrial Fibrillation (AFib), a heart condition that could lead to major health complications. All recordings, their associated classifications and any noted symptoms are stored in the Health app in a PDF that can be shared with doctors. At the moment this has been FDA approved for the US, as for Australia, it’s a feature that will be coming soon. So keep watching this space.
The new Apple Watch Series 4 also provides a more detailed view of helpful third-party apps like Dexcom, which allows for continuous glucose monitoring which is an incredible medical innovation for those suffering from Diabetes.
True Tone technology in the new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max uses an advanced six-channel ambient light sensor to subtly adjust the white balance onscreen to match the colour temperature of the light around you. So images on the display look as natural as on a printed page, reducing eye strain and the resulting headaches.
Clumsy girls, rejoice! The Apple Watch uses a next-generation accelerometer and gyroscope to automatically detect when you’ve stacked it. By analysing wrist trajectory and impact acceleration, the watch sends the user an alert after a fall, which can be dismissed or used to initiate a call to emergency services. If the watch senses immobility for 60 seconds after the notification, it will automatically call emergency services and send a message along with your location to emergency contacts.
Whether you’re out shopping or trying to find someone in a crowd, use the Walkie-Talkie app to get in touch with just a tap. Add friends, then control when you want to talk.
With watchOS 5, Apple Watch becomes an even smarter fitness and workout companion. Activity competitions allow users to challenge other Apple Watch wearers, automatic workout detection provides an alert to start a workout while giving retroactive credit, and yoga and hiking are new dedicated workout types that accurately track active calories burned and exercise minutes earned.
The Dual SIM, coming to iPhone XS and XS Max later this year, allows you to have two separate numbers in the same smartphone, using a nano-SIM and eSIM. This is perfect for people who have both a business and personal number, or for travelling overseas.
Who needs a professional camera to take beautiful, sharp Instagram photos? The innovative dual-camera system in the new iPhones uses an innovative dual-camera system and advanced algorithims to allow you to take amazing pics. The camera sensor features deeper and larger pixels for more vibrant colours and better low-light photos, while the Smart HDR brings more highlight and shadow detail across your photos. Meanwhile, the front camera lighting allows you to take the perfectly lit selfies, while new Depth Control lets you adjust the depth of field (or f-stop for you budding photographers) of your portraits after you shoot.
Prepare to really feel like you’re in a sci-fi movie, because the next gen of facial authentication is here. On the new iPhones, you can use Face ID to unlock your iPhone, log in to apps, and pay with just a glance—now even faster.
Generic emojis are sooooo yesterday, guys. The TrueDepth camera on the new iPhones allows you to use virtual reality to capture and analyse over 50 different facial muscle movements, then animates those expressions in memoji and animoji form.
Soon, you’ll be able to chat to up 32 different people at once with Group FaceTime, coming later this year. You can also add new effects and filters to your video calls. Yep, work conference calls are about to become a lot more interesting!